Rome to Venice

We almost didn’t make our Vatican tour. We had slept poorly the night before because our hotel gave us the worst bed and the noisiest room imaginable. Plus, we were both experiencing some trip fatigue and neither of us is religious. But I’m very glad we went to see the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s, and the Sistine Chapel. We had a semi-private tour and while I wasn’t entirely sold on the blonde girl from Alabama guiding us, she did a wonderful job and knew her history and art history inside and out. She was also a talented storyteller. 

The art was staggering. We spent most of our time in the Raphael Rooms, as well as the Sistine Chapel (sadly, no photos allowed.).

St. Peter’s was staggering. Gold and mosaics and beautiful statuary everywhere you look. It’s impressive, but I can’t help thinking that Jesus wouldn’t be keen on any part of it. 

After, we walked a bit around Vatican City. The sheer scale is amazing. 

After the Vatican, we rode to Termini station for our train to Venice. Exhausted we grabbed cheap deli sandwiches and ate them sitting on the terminal floor. Go hygiene!

We arrived in Venice and were awe struck by how pretty and novel the city is. No traffic! We boarded the vapporetto to our hotel and sat next to a drunk Californian named Scott. He was a nice enough dude but thick as a brick. He had been to Germany and was blown away by the Holocaust.

“I didn’t even go to the  concentration camps, man, but I was still blown away. Like those were the people who killed 11 million Jews. I’m such a proud American that we didn’t do that. Like even though I was drinking, like it got me.”

There was so much wrong with his understanding of the past and the present, I didn’t know where to begin. 

Our hotel was near St. Marks and we got really lost trying to find it. Luckily, the people at Locanda Orseolo were amazing and helped us every step of the way, even staying on the phone with us as we walked. 

When we arrived, we went to our room and found this. Clearly, they know we are lushes. 

The desk clerk, Lorenzo, recommended a stellar place, Cherubino. I could eat there everyday and never tire of their delicious spritz. 

Or their chicetti plate which boasted the entire sea—whitefish, squid, octopus, toro, shrimp, sardines. 

We also had clams in a delicious tangy, spicy broth. 

The cuttlefish ink pasta was my “revelation” dish. Paul’s was carbonara but I enjoyed nothing as much as I enjoyed this pasta. Eating it, you look a fright with black teeth, but it’s so worth it.

Paul had a frito misto plate. 

After, we enjoyed St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge area with fewer tourists at night time. 

We capped the day with gelato. Lemon for Paul. Mascarpone and fig for me. After all that travel and walking and eating, it was time for a comfy robe and slippers!


Rome, Day 1

We had a super early flight to Rome from Paris and our jet lagged bodies did not appreciate the 3 am wake up call. We zoned out on the flight and landed in Rome about 2 hours after we took off. In a twist, the plane disembarked from the back and we were in the midst of a very large group of Asian tourists. I made the mistake of trying to follow the normal process of leaving a plane, ya know waiting your turn and grabbing your bag from the overhead. But as I tried to get our suitcases a deafening cacophony of irate Asians trying to deplane first (like 14 rows behind me) got me so flustered I just gave up. “How do you say rude assholes?” I asked Paul. Overhearing us, an Italian businessman quipped, “in Chinese.”

Surviving the deplaning, we made it to our hotel. Easily the worst hotel of our trip, the room wasn’t ready, the attendants weren’t helpful, and so we made our way to the streets to explore the Monti neighborhood. We were about 3 minutes from the Colosseum it was crazy seeing ruins in your backyard! We found a tiny coffee shop and had some lackluster Nutella pastry and a cannoli. I expected a lot more from that cannoli, let me tell you. 

We returned to the room and slept for a few hours. Waking up, we ventured to the Pantheon, stopping for pizza along the way. 

We also made our way to the Piazza Navonna and reveled in the beauty of the landscape, even though it was ass to elbow with other tourists (a recurring theme of the trip). 

Still a bit peckish, we went to Supplizio for the Roman version of arrincini called suppli. Paul loved the carbonara and I preferred the cacio e pepe.

We ambled through some tiny streets, dodging cars and Vespas and people. landing eventually at a small cafe for Prosecco and our new favorite drink, the Aperol Spritz. 
We headed back to the Panthenon, as it was less crowded a bit later in the evening. 

We finished the day with one of the most epic meals of the trip at Armando Al Pantheon. The waiter recommended a delicious red wine from the region and we enjoyed it alongside the best buffalo mozzarella and tomato bruschetta. Paul had the carbonara which had the most intense egg flavor. I had the pasta alla amatriciana. For secondi, I had the veal saltimbocca and Paul had a chicken and peppers dish. We raved about this meal for the entirety of the trip and can’t  wait to return some day! 

Never Go To Europe

When we decided to name this blog That Annoying Couple, I wanted to come up with a post that would live up to the title. And behold, I have done it. Let’s talk about the planning of our trip to Europe! Continue reading “Never Go To Europe”